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Everest 2004: "I'm just an ordinary guy."
11:34 a.m. EDT Oct 3, 2003
We often hear the stories of “professional” climbers, or others who have found a way spend most of their time climbing in the mountains. They’re spectacular tales of adventure shared by seasoned, experienced climbers usually involved in a new ambitious goal.

But what about the weekend warriors? Those who spend most hours of their days behind a desk? Climbing on weekends and vacation? Not everyone is a “career” climber. In fact, the majority are weekend warriors – “ordinary” guys and gals – some who also dare to dream the big dream of Everest. In this first of a two-part story, ExplorersWeb introduces one such climber.

Kevin Donovan is a 47-year old computer systems administrator from Dallas, Texas and it's the dream of Everest that is driving him to the north side the world’s highest peak next spring. “I’m just an ordinary guy,” he insists. He goes off to a desk job every day, owns a house, and tries to climb whenever he can. So how does an ordinary guy even begin to make the dream of Everest come true? For Kevin, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Everest is going to be his first, and maybe only, 8,000m peak. And to pull it off, Kevin’s had to consider everything from selling the house to the possibility of finding a new job. But his boss gave him the time off and a chance encounter with Ed Viesturs gave him a boost of inspiration to proceed with his dream. ExplorersWeb recently caught up with Kevin to talk about his plans.

Though Kevin has previously climbed 34 of Colorado’s 14,000 ft peaks, and has reached the summits of Mera Peak (6,476m), he has never been on an 8,000m climb. The Texan first considered climbing Shisha Pangma, but didn’t think he’d be able to get the time off to climb a peak that many people he knew had never heard of. He figured, “I might only have this one shot to climb an 8,000er. Why not Everest?” To his great relief, his boss agreed. “If the only thing you need is time off, we’ll find a way.” One less worry for Kevin who knows he has his job to return to. Later this summer, he ran into Ed Viesturs at an Outdoor Show. The two got to talking about Everest, and when Kevin left, he felt pumped enough to consider making his own dream a reality.

Part II - Getting there. Training.

Kevin Donovan is climbing the north route of Everest next spring. He’ll be joining the Adventure Peaks (UK) expedition under the leadership of Dave Pritt. Adventure Peaks was also on Everest in spring 2003.

Image of Mount Everest's North Face courtesy of Expedition Everest 2004.




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